Have you ever Googled your own name and found something negative about you? It really affects you, putting a damper around your entire day. But what it should do is tell you that you need some reputation repair. Reputation repair isn’t just about getting rid of those negative postings about you, it is also about highlighting all the great things about you. So how do you do that?
Who Has Their Reputation Damaged?
The reputation of two key entities can be damaged with ease online. Those are the reputations of:
For organizations, it is vital that they do something, because they will not be able to remain profitable if they have a negative image and their brand is no longer trusted. For individuals, a negative reputation can affect their job prospects and social relationships. Today, everything is done online, including getting to know people and organizations, so hoping that people simply won’t see something is nothing short of naïve. The big problem is, however, that once something is online, it is generally there for life.
How to Repair Your Reputation
There are some simple things that can be done to help you repair your reputation. This has to start with you monitoring the internet, so that you can see what is being said about you. Set up Google Alerts so that you can receive an email whenever you are mentioned. And if that is something negative, you have to take action to repair it. Best case scenario is that you put the information out there yourself – a drunken snap that seemed like such a good idea at the time for instance – in which case you can remove it straight away as well. Unfortunately, if someone else posted it, getting rid of it can be a little harder, although you should start by simply asking the poster to take the content off.
If you can’t remove the content, then you have to engage in personal search engine optimization (SEO). What this means is that you drive any bad content down the rankings, so that it is confined to the third page of the Google search results or even further. At the same time, you will create positive content about yourself, which you drive up in the rankings. You can do this by having a strong online presence and an active social media life.
Remember that privacy doesn’t really exist on the internet. Any type of content, be that a Tweet, an email, or a blog comment, can suddenly become public. This is why it is also very important that you do not allow strangers to come into your circle of trust. If you are looking for a new job, for instance, it is likely that the recruiter will first look you up online, and if they see negative things, it is highly unlikely that they will offer you the job.
If none of this works, then there are reputation management companies out there to help you.